Conference Call

Abstract Submission Deadline: January 31st, 2015

Contemporary Museum and Gallery Education practices:
Local Communities meet Global Narratives
May 22-23, 2015

Point Centre for Contemporary Art | Fine Art Programme, University of Nicosia 
Nicosia, Cyprus

Increasing attention is being placed on the social responsibility of contemporary museums and galleries. The implementation of social responsibility projects and community outreach is often carried out through an institution’s education department. Museums and galleries are no longer largely focused on what they present (collections and artworks) but also on the people of their locality and on ways to involve them in their practices. Galleries and museums have never before involved as many individuals through their diverse programming structures, and fostered so many cross-institutional collaborations. This could in fact be interpreted as a direct result of the changing structure of funding mechanisms that have increasingly placed more emphasis on the involvement of diverse social groups and new communities. The need to sing to the tune of multiculturalism, variously defined, has brought museum and gallery educational narratives that aim to represent the voices of minority and marginalized social groups. At the same time, the notion of cultural diversity has been embraced by institutions even as the role of centres of art and culture in processes of regeneration and gentrification is acknowledged and accepted as a complicated one.

This conference, hosted by Point Centre for Contemporary Art and the University of Nicosia, is organised in connection, and in reflection upon these two institutions’ collaboration with a local elementary school (the Eleneio Municipal School in Nicosia, Cyprus) for a local EEA-funded programme entitled “Promoting Anti-Discrimination through Arts Education for the Local Community.” The conference wishes to map out relevant knowledge, and bring about the sharing of good practices, educational and social theory, critical thinking, and on-the-ground expertise between scholars, professionals, and practitioners.

The conference takes off from questions such as the following:
How can gallery and museum education programmes meaningfully address the needs of the local community?
What is the role of educational programmes in making a difference to local patterns of segregation, pedagogical structures and processes of meaningful engagement?
How can such programmes contribute to the building of values of citizenship, and at the same time constructively challenge how citizenship is defined, and the top-bottom institutional practices related to it?

The conference wishes to expand on the following themes:
Art-centres, galleries, and museums activating and addressing the needs of communities / The importance of engaging the local community, and ways of doing so.
The pitfalls of multiculturalism discourse in educational practices.
Educational programmes tailored to the needs of the local community.
Collaborations between art-institutions and schools.
Art-centre, gallery, and museum pedagogical practices engaging diverse social groups.
Local museum education narratives in a global culture market.
Discussions of specific thematic methodologies (e.g. regarding sound, architecture, preoccupation with the archive etc) addressing diversity in the context of museum education. How theories and histories of education relate to these issues.

Confirmed Keynote speaker-
Dr Viv Golding | Bio and Research Information

To submit a proposal please email an abstract (300 words) and a short bio to:
Evanthia Tselika |
Chrystalleni Loizidou |

No payment is required to present or attend the conference.

A certificate will be issued by Point Centre for Contemporary Art and the University of Nicosia for all the presenters.

For any queries please contact the organisers on the email addresses provided above.